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UK MP Calls to Sack Bahrain's Woman Prison Boss Mariam Al-Bardoli, "Daily Mail" Newspaper Dubs her "Beast of Bahrain"

2019-03-23 - 7:50 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): A Lib Dem peer has called to sack woman prison boss Lientenant Colonel Mariam Al-Bardoli after she beat up inmate Hajar Mansour after her son-in-law activist Ahmad Al-Wadaie spoke in UK Parliament to highlight brutality in country's prisons.

The "Daily Mail" newspaper said that Al-Bardoli is dubbed the "Beast of Bahrain", and published in a detailed report demands to sack her. It also published photos of her, which irritated the Bahraini embassy in London.

Lord Scriven said that Mariam Al-Bardoli is responsible for "degrading, cruel and humiliating treatment of prisoners" at the country's Isa Town jail.

The newspaper stated that millions of pounds of British taxpayers' money has been spent on projects to help Bahraini prison staff in order to prevent abuse. But the peer claims the tiny Gulf state uses the existence of UK support to give it a "cloak of respectability to undermine human rights, a cloak of respectability for murder and torture."

Lord Scriven said Al-Bardoli had targeted a female political prisoner, Hajar Mansour, who was jailed in 2017 following what was internationally condemned as a flawed trial.

The 50-year-old mum was beaten up in jail five days after her son-in-law, Sayed Al-Wadaei, testified in the House of Commons about the attacks on her and other prisoners at the jail.

Afterwards Al-Bardoli reprimanded Hajar telling her: "I don't care if people call me a torturer, but you (Hajar) must stop speaking out about what happens in the prison".

Since then Hajar was refused an examination for a lump in her breast for five months and denied family visits while another woman inmate was denied medical attention for injuries she received during torture.

On the day of the beatings Hajar and two other prisoners, Najah Yusuf and Medina Ali, had been prevented from observing the religious day of Ashura.

According to a complaint submitted at the time by her son-in-law, the three women were "physically assaulted and beaten" when Lt-Col Al-Bardoli arrived at their cells with guards.

Al-Wadaei said: "Hajar found herself on the floor with an officer sitting on her chest while two other officers held her arms, both handcuffed, as well as her legs.

"After the assault she was unable to stand in her feet. Hajar sustained bruises on her hands and back which required her hospitalization. Her blood sugar levels had dropped dangerously low."

Al-Bardoli was later said to have punched Medina in the back in an area where there was no CCTV.

Lord Scriven said: "If Bahrain are going to show the outside world they are serious about human rights abuses they should remove her from her position immediately and replace her with a governor who respects and upholds basic human rights.

"The UK Government should also seriously look at her behaviour and see if she is fit to be allowed to enter the UK".

As well as his mother-in-law, Al-Wadaei's cousin and brother-in-law are also in jail, with all accused on charges of planting a fake bomb, which human rights campaigners say were "trumped up" and confessions forced out of them.

There are now thought to be about 4000 political prisoners in Bahrain where there are "widespread and systematic human rights abuses".

Reprieve's director, Maya Foa said: "The U.K. government's refusal to condemn these human rights abuses at Isa Town prison is appalling, and risks sending the message to the Bahraini authorities that there is tacit acceptance of reprisals being taken against the families of anti-death penalty activists."

The newspaper indicated that the Bahrain Embassy denies Hajar was assaulted and claims any injuries she suffered were self-inflicted.

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